Better Left Unsaid? (Part 2)

This is the second half of a discussion I had with my friend Charles of Mostly Bright Ideas. The first half can be found on his blog, here. The conversation began harmlessly enough, with my mentioning the respect I have for certain male actors and their contributions to cinematic art. Charles then began making accusatory statements about women, which I trust will be as objectionable to you as they were to me. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t steer our discussion back to reasonable ground. The result, I fear, is a post that may prove to be suicidal for me, with many women misinterpreting his sentiments for mine. I would like to say that I am just an innocent, gullible little mindless pawn in his strange and paranoid game, and that he got me into this against my will. Yes, I would like to say that.

MBI: First, what do you mean by attractive?

PV: Physically and intellectually. Or either.

MBI: It’s very hard for me to separate them. And it’s more than those two things.

PV: Like? Emotionally?

MBI: It’s personality, intellect, and emotional makeup. Personality alone is a million little things. Without those, physical attractiveness doesn’t really register. The world is filled with superficially attractive people. We see them everywhere we look. But for me to feel attracted, there has to be some other, much stronger factor. So if you were to ask me to name an actress I find attractive, I honestly couldn’t do it.

PV: I find it difficult to believe you.

MBI: I told you that’s what you’d say.

PV: In Moonstruck, Cher’s character must have aroused some interest in you. Did it, in turn, arouse any interest in Cher?

MBI: No. I can recognize that her character became more attractive when she began to fall in love, and when she began to feel loved. I could see why he was drawn to her. But I didn’t have those feelings myself. And even if I did, that wouldn’t cause me to say, “I’m in love with Cher.”

PV: My question was related to feeling attracted, drawn towards a woman other than your wife. Is it really that improbable?

MBI: Let’s say that it happens. What purpose does it serve for me to tell my wife? And an even bigger question, what purpose does it serve for me to announce this fact to dozens of people at a party with my wife standing ten feet away? I’ve seen women do that: “I’m in love with Hugh Grant,” or “Harrison Ford is so gorgeous!” And my immediate thought is always, “What is her husband thinking right now?”

PV: You make women sound like mindless, unfeeling monsters.

MBI: Not monsters, but momentarily mindless and unfeeling. Otherwise, what is the motivation behind saying something like that?

PV: Getting it out of the head, probably. I don’t know whether you’ve heard women talk of a real man or an inaccessible celebrity. It makes a lot of difference.

MBI: I know. It’s always a celebrity, which seems crazy to me. This is a person they’ve never met, never seen without his make-up and special lighting, probably never heard speak without a script.

PV: You said it: personality is a million little things. Attraction comes from all of that.

MBI: But the personality of a movie character has nothing to do with the personality of the actor. Women should be falling in love with screenwriters.

PV: We all know that Al Pacino talks the same, no matter what the character. Or Nicholas Cage. All of them, really. So, even if the character is doing things the actor wouldn’t do, the actual person is able to show that personality.

MBI: Prepare to get mad.

PV: I am prepared.

MBI: Women are told who to like and who to find attractive, and they obey.

PV: Yes.

MBI: Really? You agree?

PV: I agree.

MBI: Maybe that’s what really bothers me about it. You said mindless. And that’s how it seems to me.

PV: You are right.

MBI: People Magazine. “Sexiest Man Alive.” That’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever heard of.

PV: Insulting? To the man?

MBI: To women.

PV: Yes.

MBI: Could you cut that out?

PV: What?

MBI: Why are you agreeing with me?

PV: Because I agree with you. Without being told to.

MBI: Well it’s very confusing.

PV: The general fact may be what you say, but it is not the only truth.

MBI: Hollywood is ruled by men. For every well-known actress, I can name ten well-known actors. It’s because they know that most of the money is coming from women and their fantasies. Hollywood is built on female fantasies. And another thing. There’s a strong movement that’s begun to help women — especially girls — appreciate their own natural beauty and stop comparing themselves to the airbrushed creations on magazine covers.

PV: I know. That’s a wonderful thing.

MBI: But when women compare their husbands or boyfriends to these artificial Hollywood creations, they’re doing the same thing. They’re setting their mates up for failure, all to justify their own fantasies.

PV: What about male fantasies?

MBI: As I keep saying, I never hear men talking about actresses. Never about how attractive or sexy they are. Never how they’re in love with them. Have you ever seen a video of when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964?

PV: No.

MBI: Have you heard of the Ed Sullivan Show?

PV: No! Tell me what happened.

MBI: It was a variety show on Sunday nights. It was live television. The Beatles made their first US appearance on that show in February 1964. The women in the audience (probably teenagers) were screaming, crying, and fainting. They were fainting! I try to imagine men doing that, and I can’t. It’s just a different way of reacting.

PV: Yes. Men consider women as a conquest. Women consider men as a gift. Generally.

MBI: Okay, but I’ve gotten gifts before. I don’t start squealing and pulling my hair.

PV: Let me ask you this. How would you cope with an attraction?

MBI: What do you mean?

PV: If you are drawn towards another woman, what do you do? Please do not say that in the last twenty years, you have not felt drawn towards any woman, in some sense.

MBI: As I said before, there would have to be a very strong emotional connection, and that takes time.

PV: Now you’re driving me crazy.

MBI: I warned you.

PV: Have you ever felt like praising a woman in a way that is more than something like “She’s a good person.” Have you ever felt like saying “She’s beautiful.” Or just, “Wow!”

MBI: I’ll say yes just to appease you. But why would I announce it?

PV: Felt it?

MBI: Yes, but it wasn’t based on looks.

PV: Finally! It’s not just the looks. For anybody. Well, for the mindless women, it is mostly about appearance and being told who to like. But for thinking women, it is the subtle nuances. They overlook the superficiality, the charade, because they like fairy tales and their world does not give them that.

MBI: That’s what’s missing? The fairy tale?

PV: If it’s an unmarried girl, she may be using that man as a template for her coming life. If it’s a married woman, the reality sinks in. Real life, married life, is not anywhere close to the template. Yes, something is missing. We probably live through these celebrities, and garb them with innocent compliments. These disappointments are so subtle, without knowing, women begin to appreciate an image.

MBI: I’ll ask it again: do you think when women make comments about their fantasy men, they’re trying to punish their husbands or boyfriends?

PV: No. I think they are simply reassuring themselves that there are, in fact, fairy tale-like men around. And in a strange way, that such a man is available to them. He’s just a DVD away. All this is done without any harmful intent. And most men take it as such.

MBI: I like the way you explained that. But I still think that instead of saying some celebrity is so this or that, your life would be that much better if you told your husband those things. About him.

PV: Yes. I do. Which is probably why he’s not all that bothered about what I say about the celebrities.

MBI: I also think the celebrities get more than their share of attention and praise. They don’t need any more, and they aren’t even aware of what you’re saying. So why waste it on them?

PV: Perhaps you’re right. Should we forget the post?

MBI: You always want to bail out at the last minute.

PV: No. I was just thinking that perhaps the intention of writing this post was to understand, not all that much to publish. So, the purpose seems achieved. But still, I want to understand how men really feel about this. You are the only one I’ve seen who’s brought it up. And you’ve told me why you find it disturbing. But somehow, you’ve not convinced me.

MBI: Not convinced you that it’s worth changing the behavior?

PV: Not convinced me about why you find the behavior disturbing in the first place.

MBI: Really? I thought we’d made more progress than that. Maybe you’re right; we should just forget it.

PV: So now you’re bailing out?

MBI: Yes. I’m going to watch X-Men.

PV: Why? I thought you had no interest.

MBI: I heard Halle Berry is in it. I’m in love with that woman.

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

The conclusion we both came to after hours of conversation, numerous emails, and questionnaires sent out to several friends was this: There are boundaries that differ from person to person and couple to couple. What’s acceptable to one may be unacceptable to others. Most women are aware of the behavior and see nothing wrong with it. Most men don’t seem bothered by it; at least that’s what they say.

We hope this post will help spark more discussion, because while boundaries should be respected, first they have to be identified.

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44 thoughts on “Better Left Unsaid? (Part 2)”

  1. What a great discussion. In the messing around saying I like someone sense, I prefer Cyclops…he’s cute! But in reality looks aren’t all that important to me and it would be what is in the heart…and he’d have to be funny. I think that’s why women are so quick to make an observation about looks without thinking it could be taken the wrong way because in reality it isn’t about that at all. Hope that made sense 🙂

    1. You’ve got it all so very well put in just a few words, Melinda — “women are so quick to make an observation about looks without thinking it could be taken the wrong way because in reality it isn’t about that at all” It makes perfect sense. But I suppose it leans heavily on the female “tendrils” we discussed in the first part of this post. It might be difficult for a typical man to understand it.

  2. Here I go again, I love Cher. I find it odd that, out of all the celebrities and movies, Moonstruck was the one you discussed. Literally, last night I said to my husband, “I love Cher. I cried at her concert. If I saw her walk by me, I’d cry.” My husband looked at me and said simply, “I know, Dear.”

    Oh, and I rarely agree with the sexiest man alive picks. For me, like MBI states, it’s about intellect, personality, etc. This is why Edward Norton and John Cusack are on my favorites list. I may not agree with everything they believe, but I admire them, which makes me more attracted to them. Nicholas Cage, too. Alas, I’m not proud of that attraction. Please continue these dialogue posts. I will discuss this with my husband tonight.

    1. I suppose what makes some men react with sensitive protest to these instances of appreciation is the use of the word “love”. It confuses.

      Like happykidshappymom says below, the industry of beauty and flesh and fairy tales is equally filled with female counterparts of Nicholas Cage and Hugh Grant. The point is, why?
      Where there is demand, there is supply, no?

      Unfortunately, there is never a perfect conclusion to such discussions. Even though we talk in general terms and semantics, each individual’s preference differs significantly from the other, whatever its origin.

      PS: Shh, but I love John Cusack, too.

      1. We did, Priya. Well, I talked most of the time. But I did manage to draw out of my husband his true opinion on things. I asked him if it bothered him if I gushed on and on about how I love Sting and he laughed and said, “Not at all! I love Sting!” So there you have it. Our intelluctual conversation in a nutshell. For the record, we are very close and very open about things. He’s a sensitive guy and considerate and sweet in general. He rarely says out loud “I love Angelina Jolie!” but I know he finds her attractive and loves to watch her movies. It doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m not sure what that says about our relationship or any profound issues on gender differences but it works for us and we’re both content. Thanks for such a wonderful post, Priya.

      2. Thank you for seeing this post as an opportunity to explore more, Darla. I am glad you both rediscovered your love for Sting. 🙂
        I love him too, by the way. My husband’s more for Bono, though.

  3. Priya – this has been delightful!

    I like the wisdom you’ve presented about women wanting fairy tales, but we sure can turn off male desire to give us a taste of one occasionally if the communication and boundaries are not clear! I applaud you for your last sentence!

    Thinking about past social situations, here’s what I wonder…do women sometimes say these things to impress other women? Similar to the discovery that many women dress to impress other women or to give off messages of superiority.

    So on this topic, do some women think, “If I say George Clooney is hot, I’ll look cool.”? The poor male partner is not even in the equation during those moments. It turns into Hottie Oneupmanship. If George Clooney stepped into the room and said, “Right on. I’m available! Who’s first?” – I suspect, after the initial shock, we’d all seek the safety of our beloved, real, tried and true male partners!

    1. I agree absolutely! Women sometimes do say and do things to “impress other women”. And appreciating George Clooney is, for some, a part of that leap towards coolness. I hate to admit it, but Charles was absolutely right in saying that women allow themselves to be led and ‘trained’ to like something or somebody (imagine my utter discomfort in having to see our secret disclosed so ruthlessly).

      Sometimes, the quotient of superiority gets dictated by what the other ‘cool’ people are saying. The question is, who makes the first cool person cool?

      As for the last sentence, it was Charles’s all along.

  4. Thanks, Charles, for reminding me about Harrison Ford and Hugh Grant…I like them too! I forgot about them when I commented on the first half of the post…

    I am reminded of an incident that happened years ago to my ex-husband (while we were still married). He was in radio, and had to host a show at a local bar…I couldn’t go, because we didn’t have a babysitter for our daughter. While he was there, he asked a woman to dance…she accepted, but became enraged when she noticed the wedding ring on his finger. “You’re married! Why did you ask me to dance?”

    “I just wanted to dance!” he replied. He told me about it when he got home, and I got a good laugh from it…in the fifteen years we were together, we agreed that it was perfectly fine for either of us to have friends of the opposite sex, as long as that’s all it was. Jealousy was never an issue.

    Could I be so nosy as to inquire about your astrological sign, Charles? Wondering if you might be a Cancer like Jim and I (Mr. Sensitive)? Priya…thanks for standing up for fantasizing women!

    Very interesting discussion…thanks to both of you!

    Wendy

    1. It is so wonderful to be able to have a mutually respectful married life, Wendy. I am glad it was so with your ex-husband and is so, as your comment at Charles’ suggests, with your partner. That is all that matters at the end of the day.

      And fantasizing then becomes a petty nothing in comparison.

      Thank you for your interest!

  5. I enjoyed reading your conversation though I must say I did feel a bit like I was eavesdropping.

    I disagree that men never talk about actresses and how attractive or sexy they are. A few years ago I carpooled with two guys and more than once I’d sit in the back of the car listening to them talking about a movie they’d seen the night before and more than the story they carried on about the attractive sexy actress in the movie

    I just asked my Mr F who his favorite actresses are (I’ve never asked him before). Interesting to hear who he named. I agree with him.

    1. Oh? You shouldn’t have felt so, Rosie. The conversation was on a much-planned loudspeaker. 🙂

      The definition of sexy also differs from people to people, surprisingly. I have a friend who loves Jack Black and finds him enormously sexy. Here in India, despite our share of plastic show-window treats, there are many who wouldn’t look twice at them, and admire some who look and behave like real people.

      As far as men talking about actresses and public figures with obvious appreciation are concerned, I completely agree with you. It’d be a big mistake to label women as the only gender with a fetish for beauty.

  6. Phew!
    Well, my view on all this hinges on the fact that evolution has programmed us men and women to constantly look around for attractive and suitable mates. Even when we are in a relationship this fundamental urge is still lurking there to a greater or lesser degree, and we do still look at possible candidates whether in the real world or in films, and possibly find these people attractive, sexy, powerful, reliable, intelligent, have a nice nose, or anything else that may appeal to us…
    In order not to upset our partners and cause them a little or a lot of pain, we should just simply keep quiet about these feelings…

    1. Bhartan, my husband, would like to shake hands with you on that Dave, I am sure. This is what he has been telling me during the entire course of this post — its planning and its execution.

      As for the Phew!, I completely agree with you. 🙂

  7. There is a difference between crushing on a celebrity that you don’t and probably won’t ever know and say, a co-worker who you spend a lot of time with every day. One of those people isn’t “real” and more than likely, the crush, is on a character they are portraying. I hear men (my husband included) say “She’s hot in that film, TV show…whatever” all the time. We’ve even switched nightly news channels because my husband thinks one of the local anchors is hot and he’d rather hear the news from her than some crotchety old guy. LOL (who can blame him, really?) I know that it has nothing to do with me and I don’t see it as personal at all. I think it’s normal.

    1. Dave above says “In order not to upset our partners and cause them a little or a lot of pain, we should just simply keep quiet about these feelings”. However, like everything else in the world, it does not apply to everyone.

      Surely you and your husband have an understanding that makes it inapplicable to you. Most are not that lucky!

      This is exactly what Charles and I meant to accomplish with this post — to throw light on how something that may be normal for someone, may be a matter of bother to the other. And when it is something as deep as a man-woman relationship, it just might help if you learn to levitate a little, for it is an eggshell-walk in more ways than one!

      I will, someday, learn to use humour like you do, Jessica Sieghart.

  8. Interesting discussion, Priya! You and Charles are taking blogging collaborations to a whole new level!

    My husband and I talk about each other’s celeb crushes…he knows if there’s a Johnny Depp movie on, I’m mostly watching it for Depp. He’s taken me to Depp movies, and does not mind at all.

    He has taken a liking to J Lo these days, (thinks she is a nice woman, after AI) and he’s always thought Charlize Theron is very beautiful….we talk and joke about it, and never get into any disagreements about them

    Far more cause for bickering is his tendency to buy celery leaves when I ask for coriander, and my tendency to chop my own fingers, get burnt or cause accidents in the kitchen due to daydreaming 🙂

    1. It is wonderful that you bicker about the mundane, Damyanti. Such fun. My husband’s pet peeve is my tendency to neglect my paperwork. Or my insistence on reducing plastic at home. We could go on and on about it.

      Hugh Jackman? He’s as welcome as Bipasha Basu in our household. 🙂

  9. Hmmm… Let’s see.

    First off, I think men are equally responsible for Hollywood fantasizing. Why else do women show off their enhanced cleavage? Why stuff themselves into tiny dresses, high heels, tack on hair extensions or any of the other things designed to make them “attractive” to the opposite sex?

    Women are used as pawns in the “attraction game” just as much, if not more so, than men.

    Women (again, in movies) are given subordinate roles, ridiculous outfits, unattainable body proportions and in general, less witty and challenging dialogue.

    Whenever I see a woman in a lead role, even on TV, I cheer. Take the show Parks and Recreation. The lead character is a female comedian. And the show is hilarious. I so admire Amy Poehler, and the way she attacks the role.

    So many shows have supported men and encouraged them to just “be funny.” Like Seinfeld. The Office. Even shows on paid channels.

    But to encourage a lead actress for something other than her outward beauty? It’s rare. And Amy Poehler, who is attractive, is not like the lead women on other shows. Desperate Housewives. The Closer. Anything that I see advertised where all you see is a bunch of beautiful clothes and flowing hair and a storyline buried beneath.

    So let’s leave it at that. Women are glorified as much as men.

    The real question your discussion raises is the first line of your post: “What do you mean by attractive?”

    This question is so fraught with subtext, hidden meanings, emotional corners that no one can answer it straight. As we saw from your own and Charles’ minds. (Two minds who rise above most in this blogging world.)

    Because the very definition of “attractive” is divided. Who do you personally think is attractive, and who does society think is attractive.

    And when you add in the word “society,” you add in all the perils that come from a constant cultural barrage of peer pressure, advertising, keeping up with the Joneses… it makes me sick.

    But still… under all that, is a fear.

    That what we find attractive might not line up with what we’re “supposed” to find attractive, and, what then? For to like something that’s not on the cover of a magazine or the forefront of a culture’s collective unconscious means we’re on the fringe. We’re rebels. We’re… weird.

    Much safer to like something everybody else likes.

    Much safer at a dinner party to like Hugh Grant or Halle Berry.

    Much safer to go on a date with someone who “fits in.”

    I’m finding that I’m pretty worked up about this! Thanks for the nudge. It’s so important to think about this. Especially for those of us who, like me, have children.

    My two-year-old daughter loves pretty bows. And each morning when I put one in her hair, she says, “Now I’m so pretty!” I hold her tiny shoulders, look her right in the eyes and say, “Baby. You are always pretty. Even without the bow.”

    How we look is so important. Being attractive is so important. It’s evidenced in every part of our culture. Cereal boxes. Toothpaste ads. God. If I see another celebrity with ultra white teeth I’m going to start spray-painting my TV so I don’t have to look at the glare! It’s crazy. None of us looks like that naturally.

    When I was a teenager, I developed acne. Volcanic acne, actually. It was awful. And perhaps that’s why I get so caught up in the idea of “beauty.” To say kids teased me over it is a gross understatement.

    But being on the “outside,” on the “fringe” of attractiveness really led me to discover something about myself. I have more to offer than my looks. And people’s reactions to my acne were black and white. Either you avoided me like I was a leper, or you literally looked past the blemishes and became my friend.

    I guess the way I view “attractiveness” comes from that experience. It’s not what Hollywood says, or what our friends suggest. The people in this world that I find attractive are the ones who SEE THE GOOD.

    Who can look at a little old lady and think the best of her. Who will run to hold the door for her at the grocery store. Who will see a little girl fall at a playground and pick her up. That’s what’s attractive. The helpers of this world. The ones who reach out and connect to others, one to one. Age doesn’t matter, looks don’t matter, just being human matters.

    Yes, that’s a risk. And you can get burned. Some people you help out may not respond well. So be it. If you try — I will find you attractive.

    1. Let’s all hang the capitalist greed-mongers who began it all!

      On a more realistic note, allow me to show my concern for your feelings about this post. I hope the fact that it made you ‘worked-up’ does not equate to it making you angry at our mindless prattle. I’d hate that, because I have great regard for your sensibility. And because we intended to convey most of what you have said here.

      We have made our lives so complicated with unnatural tendencies fed by natural sins, that it has become difficult to point out where it began and where it’s leading us. However, fortunately, the ‘helpers of this world’ have not gone anywhere. They’re right here. I am honoured to be writing to one just at this moment.

      Amen to all of what you’ve said, Melissa, like Rosie so very wisely says below.

      1. Hi Priya,

        No! Of course I’m not angry. 🙂

        When I said I was worked up, I meant that I was energized by what you and Charles were talking about. That I have strong feelings about the issue too.

        I love reading your back-and-forths.

  10. I’m energised too. So energised that I can’t comment properly! I’ve had a lot of different thoughts about this that I might put into a post in my own blog instead. (Or I might chicken out altogether!) Stay tuned.

        1. I have read and re-read your post regarding this post of ours, Val, and I believe you have done more justice to it than we could have imagined doing ourselves. Thank you.

          You seem to have the exact belief as us about this topic — that communication is of essence and that no two individuals are alike. However, our intention of generalising and, yet, not generalising the minutae of “love” and “attraction” and their expression seem to have hit a target we did not intend. There are a few points that made me think that we’ve probably failed in putting across our intention succinctly — a writer’s nightmare, but we’ll brave it nevertheless — and try to reword it. Permit me to speak my mind here instead of at your blog for the purposes of convenience and avoiding any addition to the apparently complicated backing and forthing between PV and MBI.

          When we had begun writing this post, we were aware that there could be no solution to this seemingly wide-spread issue among couples. There are some, who do not face this issue at all, but then, there are exceptions, no? When one is discussing such a topic, it becomes difficult to not generalise, to not say something without having to confront the risk of being accepted as having the identical belief that one is talking about, and of suggesting that it is true for everyone. If I say “Most women are afraid of cockroaches,” I may not be wrong, but my sentence might make you believe that I am afraid of them, too (I am not, nor do I find them disgusting, unless they are squished under something ruthless, which I believe would make anything look disgusting).

          The point is to understand that everyone has their personal fears and insecurities. Normally, an overt attention towards a person of the opposite sex elicits some eyebrow raising from the partner. Normally. The partner may choose to keep mum, shout, argue or reason. It is up to them. But, since it is an acceptably normal behaviour, the partner (in the case of our discussion, a woman) will do well to understand that there are boundaries. These boundaries are unfortunately not as clear as the tennis rectangle. Speaking of which, you are right, men (but not all) do often say they love a certain baseball team or a certain baseball player and their wives do not think much of that. I suppose it’s because, normally, these team members/ baseball players are male. I doubt the premise would be this clear if the husband and wife were of the same gender. But, phew, there are exceptions.

          You said in your post “It’s about whether there is something ‘hidden’ in the language of one partner, something that the other fears. It’s as well not to jump to the conclusion that what one person feels, everyone else must (or should) too.” This is exactly what we meant to convey. If a woman feels that there is nothing wrong in saying Daniel Craig is the sexiest man alive, she might do herself and her partner a favour by turning around and looking at him for “something ‘hidden’ in the language of one partner”; as you so wisely said. If a person says or indicates that she/he has some intense fear of something, like the dark, it’s the partner’s responsibility as his/her loved one to remember that, and be sensitive about it; and not say that it’s irrational, ridiculous, hypersensitive or a sign of a fragile ego. And every couple has hundreds of those little traits and quirks, spoken or unspoken, to learn about and work out between themselves.

          Attraction towards celebrities of the opposite sex is just one very minute part of this mind-boggling roller-coaster. If you read all the comments here and at Charles’ you’ll see the diversity of opinions. I am glad our post made you express yours.

          Priya

          PS: “Newish hobby”? C’mon, now, Val! It’s already an oldish hit! 😉

  11. “But the personality of a movie character has nothing to do with the personality of the actor. Women should be falling in love with screenwriters.”

    Loved that line. 🙂

    I’m always bewildered when I watch footage of girls/women crying and fainting over musicians. I must be missing that gene.

  12. Actually, I’m thinking Charles is in love with you, but I’m not telling his wife. lol Truthfully, this was a strange discussion because I’m not sure Charles has actually captured how men think or feel all that well. Whereas he can name 10 actors for every actress, the truth of the matter is that movie fantasy is geared more towards men than women because those movies make a heck of a lot more money overall. And in those movies, most of the time women are thrown in more as objects rather than as true contributors to the story, which is a shame. That’s why something like talking about X-Men is interesting because, other than Charles Xavier and Magneto, the sexes are pretty equal overall. In other words, plenty for everyone.

    1. Mitch, I confess I do not understand. Are you saying that movies show more of men because they make more money that way? If yes, what might the reason be, I wonder? More fan following? But I suppose in such a case, we’re digressing more towards silly norms and rigid beliefs. We wouldn’t want to do that, since this discussion was intended as an attempt to see beyond these very things, you know?

      I am so relieved you found our conversation strange. For this way, we can all understand why it makes you say Charles is in love with me. 🙂

      1. Priya, in general I really do believe movies that expect great amounts of money to be generated are made for men, or on topics that normally draw more men than women. Let’s take a look at the top 10 grossing movies to date and a supposition of who the movies were more geared towards:

        1. Avatar (2009) $760,505,847 – men
        2. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824 – women
        3. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061 – men
        4. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) $460,935,665 – men
        5. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036 – men
        6. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459 – children
        7. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) $431,065,444 – men
        8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628 – children
        9. Toy Story 3 (2010) $414,984,497 – children
        10. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375 – men

        So, out of the top 10 grossing movies of all time, only 1 was geared towards women; at least in my opinion. Just to add to this, out of the next 10 not a single movie was geared towards women.

        In other words, having women see men on the screen and show any type of affection for them seems to make a lot of sense because most movies that are geared towards men that have women show up have more “eye candy” for women than men, who are mainly interested in the action or the story. Then when the romance movies come out and most men stay away, well, romance movies are geared towards women.

        Of course, I’m trying to figure out if what I’m stating relates enough to the topic you and Charles discussed. In a way it is, in a way it might not be; my confusion still abounds. lol

      2. It certainly is related, Mitch. But like you, I am extremely confused now. How about we leave all this right here and wait till we can have a cup of coffee somewhere and discuss this with all the others that are on the same boat? 🙂

  13. Priya, I am experiencing technical difficulties. I am chomping at the bit to comment on this post – an excellent conversation between you and Charles. I will have to try again when WordPress is being less problematic for me. Lots to talk about. Love it.

  14. “Lol all these differences between men and women make me dizzy ▬ I’m too androgynous in nature ▬ also fantasizing is not really worship lol everyone, be they female or male, do it lol ^_^

    But I seriously do not feel “typical” when these discussions come along ▬ I’m just too androgynous in nature.
    You seem to have very interesting conversations.

    Oh yeah I read the second part of the post ▬ I felt it was too generalizing. I have very different tastes from the mainstream and must say you are a different sort of man. Most men/women will love/like the celebrities all the time and couples may not really care because you see the like is fragmented mostly and not fragmented to accomplish but rather to entertain.

    I think I am like you. To be attracted to someone I usually do not only focus on a person’s physical features ▬ that’s a small part ▬ truth is that I like personality more and intellect as well. It would be a plastic thumb and not a experienced sore/fleshy one to like only someone for their beauty.”

    I wrote this to MBI ▬ the truth I think is that this liking of actors/actresses is very subjective with most people liking physical features more. I think I am really like MBI ▬ when I like I do like always for a quality more and that really expresses who I am ▬ yes they can be “hot” but even characters must pique other interests nor else I am not at all interested.

  15. (Just finished with Charles’ half)

    All in all, the discussion is not about how or why we appraise Hollywood (Bollywood?) actors but about being satisfied in our relationships. As I was telling Charles, my beau seems perfectly fine with me complimenting another man’s assets but perhaps that’s the case (realized this after reading this half) because I compliment him more than I compliment any other man (normal and celebrity).

    Could it be that the missing piece is not in the individual but in the relationship? I think that if there’s complete trust and total respect in a relationship, “straying” would be less likely or highly unlikely thus voiding the concern over why women say “I’m in love with Hugh Jackman.” (An aside: Hugh Jackman has been married to his wife for quite a good number of years now.)

    1. “Could it be that the missing piece is not in the individual but in the relationship?” It is, it is! I am pretty sure it is. Marvellous, that you and your dear one are doing so well. Keep complimenting him deservedly and keep receiving them, too. Happy times!

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